[South Africa] Rand Merchant Investment’s AlphaCode makes fourth investment: Luno, international bitcoin platform
Luno today announced its expansion into 35 new markets across Europe, and R120 million Series B funding round, led by London-based Balderton Capital, one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms. Rand Merchant Investments, through its fintech investment arm, AlphaCode, and existing investors Digital Currency Group also participated in the round. This follows Luno’s R60m Series A round, which was led by emerging market tech giant Naspers.
To date, AlphaCode has invested in Prodigy Finance (August 2017), Entersekt (June 2017) and Merchant Capital (June 2016).
Luno is one of the world’s most popular Bitcoin platforms, making it easy for people to buy, sell and learn about digital currencies. With a team of over 70 in offices in London, Singapore and Cape Town, Luno services will now be available in 40 countries around the world.
“We’re excited to partner with our new investors as we accelerate our business across Europe and the rest of the world,” said Marcus Swanepoel, Luno CEO. “In Europe we’ve seen an unprecedented demand, not just for digital currency, but also for our high-quality, secure and very user friendly products, in particular the Luno mobile apps. Enabling more people in Europe to have access to these products and services is a critical part of our mission to bring digital currencies to everyone, everywhere - and in a way that makes everyone’s journey into the world of digital currency safe, super easy and highly enjoyable”.
“Over the past few years, we’ve seen strong growth in digital currency awareness and adoption across both the consumer and institutional markets in South Africa. This is placing South Africa at the forefront of innovation in the global financial sector.
Swanepoel continued: “We’re very excited to partner with Rand Merchant Investments; an experienced and respected financial institution. This partnership will enable us to unlock more value for our customers in South Africa by providing products that are safe, easy to access and use, and all in a regulatory compliant manner. We look forward to working with all the key stakeholders in South Africa to grow this industry in a responsible manner where the benefits of this new technology can be realised by all.”
Dominique Collett, senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investments added: “Luno has a high quality team in the rapidly evolving, highly disruptive bitcoin industry. We have been impressed with their ability to build a trusted, secure product and to engage with regulators globally. We think this sets them apart from many in this industry and we have no doubt we will continue to see phenomenal growth from this company.”
The funding will be used for product refinement and development, global expansion and to bring to market a number of exciting new features. Luno will be hiring across all three their main hubs in London, Singapore and Cape Town.